Bristol’s former ship building yard known as Wapping Wharf has become a growing and creative part of the city full of independent businesses. From cultural sites to shipping container restaurants, a visit to Wapping Wharf is packed with things to see, do and eat.
1. Wander around the M Shed Museum
See amazing film and photographs, listen to moving personal stories, encounter rare and quirky objects and add your own memories of Bristol through the interactive displays at the M Shed Museum. From prehistoric times to the present day, M Shed tells the story of the city and its unique place in the world. The museum currently has some interesting exhibitions including the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021 exhibition. Plus, it’s free to visit!
2. Enjoy a refreshing pint of craft brew
Grab a pint and some delicious food at Wild Beer at Wapping Wharf, located just behind M Shed with a clear view of the harbour. The bar boasts a wide range of draft beers as well as many bottles and cans. Wild Beer has a great selection to choose from, including their own brewed beers, such as wild, sour and barrel-aged beers with plenty of pales, lagers and IPA’s thrown in for good measure.
3. Practice your downward dog at this yoga studio
Elevate is a yoga studio and creative space located in one of the Cargo 2 converted shipping containers at Wapping Wharf. The studio offers yoga, meditation, sound healing, 1:1 sessions, wellness workshops, Ayurvedic Yoga Massage, spoken word and art events from a range of fantastic facilitators, teachers and practitioners. Plus, the space is decorated with pops of colour and geometric shapes which makes the opportunity to flow and relax even more exciting.
4. Get your caffeine fix at these coffee shops
Need a little pick me up? Head to Mokoko Coffee and Bakery for heavenly bakes such as cinnamon swirls, hazelnut pain au chocolat and white chocolate and strawberry Danishes, as well as specialty coffee. Mokoko have their own freshly ground coffee that you also enjoy at home as well as their own homemade chai blend. You can also head to Little Victories, which is an espresso bar by day and a bar serving craft beer, coffee cocktails and wine by night. There is is also The Assembly Bakery, an ethical bakery supplying delicious and seasonal freshly baked bread, pastries and cakes with gluten free and vegan yumminess available too.
5. Get a proper eyeful of culture
As well as shops, bars and restaurants, Wapping Wharf also showcases some brilliant artwork by very talented creatives. Located between the harbourside and Prince Street you’ll find Arnolfini, Bristol’s International Centre for Contemporary Art. Since 1961, Arnolfini has been a pioneer of interdisciplinary contemporary arts, presenting an ambitious, eclectic programme of visual art, performance, dance, film and music, carefully curated to appeal to a range of audiences. There is also Spike Island, which showcases lots of new and exciting art, and is home to a community of over 70 artists, designers, makers, artist-led organisations and creative businesses, right by the harbourside.
6. Sip on a splendid wine selection
One of Bristol’s leading independent wine, spirit and beer shops, Corks, has branches at Cargo at Wapping Wharf, Cotham Hill and Bedminster’s North Street. At their Cargo branch, Bristolians can have a wander by the harbour then grab their tipple of choice to go. The stock at Corks is extensive and they deliver to the majority of Bristol postcodes so you needn’t miss out on your wine fix.
7. Devour a drool-worthy burger
At Wapping Wharf you can take your pick from some of Bristol’s finest and independent burger purveyors. Referred to as the Home of The Hog, Pigsty, serves up banging burgers and sensational sides and snacks all day. Choose from a range of generously filled burgers such as the Whole Hog, filled with slow roasted pork belly surrounded by crackling served with cider apple sauce, slaw, baconnaise, served in a toasted milk bun. Pigsty offer more porky delights containing sausages and pulled pork, as well as Scotch eggs with unbelievable yolks inside. Also check out National Burger Award Winner, Squeezed, where you can enjoy a double or single burger alongside fries and freshly squeezed lemonade. One burger even includes Worcestershire aioli! Plus, hot dog lovers can head to Dog Town, a collab between Wapping Wharf residents, Squeezed and Beer Necessities.
8. Buy some vintage garms
If you’re in need of some new glad rags, Something Elsie Vintage is the place. With all the colourful clothes beautifully arranged in this converted shipping container down at Cargo, you’ll most likely leave with something. Plus, the clothes here are sustainable and affordable- so why not? You can also find this vintage shop with glitzy and glam retro items of clothing at North Street too.
9. Tuck into a range of tasty cuisines at Cargo
At Cargo 1 and 2 down at Wapping Wharf you will find a vast selection of food and drink outlets to visit. There is so much choice here, that will definitely have to return again to sample some more. There are a range of cuisines here including Asian dishes from Seven Lucky Gods, Greek street food at The Athenian, Mexican food by Cargo Cantina, Spanish food by Gambas and Middle-Eastern dishes from Jigaraki, to name a few. Plus, in true harbourside style, you can enjoy proper fish and chips from Salt & Malt.
10. Unwind with a massage at Loop
After all that eating, drinking and shopping, you’re bound to be knackered. Book an appointment for a massage at Loop and they’ll get all those niggly knots out that have emerged after all those months (or years) sitting at your desk working from home. They also offer sports massages. Loop is a great place if you want to switch off and escape all the goings on for a moment. It’s not exactly a holiday abroad but you should feel a bit more relieved and relaxed afterwards.
11. Get pickling at Every Good Thing
Every Good Thing is the first shop in Bristol to be selling fermented products such as kefir and kimchi. Coming soon to Cargo, you can pop in there to get your fill of gut healthy products and there will be workshops for you to learn more about fermenting and its benefits.
12. Soak up the harbourside views from the Woky Ko rooftop
Everyone loves a rooftop terrace and it was the popular rendez-vous back when we could only dine outdoors, but the one rooftop to head to at Wapping Wharf is at Woky Ko. This restaurant at Cargo serves up amazing Asian-inspired food, cocktails and beers, plus beautiful views of the Wapping Wharf area and heaters for nippier nights by the water. Tuck into their beautiful bao buns, tasty katsu curries and lip-smackingly delicious noodle dishes if you’re in need of a bite to eat and to soak up their cocktails and beer.
13. Lose yourself in a good book at bookhaus
For all the literature lovers out there this independent bookshop sells a range of genres, with a strong focus on modern fiction, the environment, history, politics, children’s and more. bookhaus reflects Bristol’s tradition as a centre of radicalism and when opening bookhaus, David Olusaga said “This is Our Bookshop, in Our City.” At bookhaus on Rope Walk you can easily get lost in their shelves whilst you scour for a must-read, plus you never know you may find a author or genre from the experience.
14. Get a slice of the action at Pizzarova
Possibly one of the top pizza purveyors in Bristol, and definitely at Wapping Wharf, Pizzarova brings customers some mighty fine pizzas. From anchovy, olives and capers to goats cheese, caramelised onions and sundried tomatoes, these woodfired sourdough pizzas with gorgeously puffed up crusts will leave you incredibly satisfied and planning your next visit. Plus, look out for Pizzarova’s exciting seasonal specials and plant-based options.
15. Cosy up with a mulled cider at The Cider Box
Why not snuggle up with a tipple that’s sure to warm you up from the inside out? Specially for the colder months, The Cider Box has introduced three tasty varieties of mulled cider at their Wapping Wharf site. All made using the finest cider in the land, freshly fermented at their Bristol taproom, mulled with spices and served hot- perfect for a cheeky sip on a mooch around the harbourside.